NIOSH Joins with Toyota to Collaborate on Safety & Health Research


NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser, (202) 245-0645
December 9, 2009

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today announced a memorandum of understanding with Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc.’s (TEMA) Department of Environmental and Safety Engineering. The agreement pledges collaborative research between the federal research agency and the automaker “to improve the assessment, management, analysis, and control of workplace conditions related to the safety and health of employees.”

NIOSH and TEMA will “work cooperatively through the Partnership to identify research priorities, perform analysis on current workplace practices, develop intervention methods and facilitate communication and implementation of effective workplace injury prevention,” the agreement states.

NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., and Kevin M. Butt, General Manager, Production Engineering-Environmental Safety Engineering for TEMA, met for a ceremonial signing of the agreement on Dec. 4 at Toyota’s North American engineering and manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger, Ky.

“We are pleased to take this step with TEMA on collaborative research that will address some of today’s most prominent health and safety challenges,” Dr. Howard said. “Working together, we look forward to generating new science-based insights, practices, and interventions for preventing job-related injuries and illnesses, and for instilling safety as a basic operating principle of 21st Century business.”

“Toyota’s goal is to be the safest automobile manufacturer in North America and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with NIOSH,” Mr. Butt said. “Safety is a top priority for our 30,000 team members across the continent and we will benefit from NIOSH’s wealth of experience to help us continuously improve our safety and health processes while promoting best practices.”

Areas of research and analysis under the memorandum of understanding include but are not limited to:

  • The benefits of effective safety management system programs.
  • Effective ergonomic injury-prevention programs and strategies to address aging workforce trends, diverse workforce demographics, repetitive motion risk factors, and flexible manufacturing requirements.
  • Effective programs and strategies to address slips, trips, and falls; fleet safety; and traumatic injury prevention.
  • Exposure effects and controls of industrial hygiene risk factors.
  • The impact of positive safety culture elements and the benefits of comprehensive programs that extend to individual and community aspects.

NIOSH and TEMA agreed to designate representatives to develop a plan of action for addressing the goals, and to identify respective roles and responsibilities. For each specific research project developed as a result of the memorandum of understanding, NIOSH and TEMA will develop a project-level agreement that addresses various issues relevant to that specific area of research.

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. It was created under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Further information about NIOSH is available at

Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and currently operates 14 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,800 Toyota, Lexus, and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than 2.5 million vehicles in 2008. Toyota directly employs nearly 41,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services, and design. Toyota’s annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods, and services from North American suppliers totals nearly $25 billion. For more information about Toyota, visit icon and www.toyotanewsroom.comexternal icon. Reference to products in this NIOSH Update does not constitute a NIOSH commercial endorsement.

Page last reviewed: August 6, 2012